a1 Fellow in Law, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Ordinarily, claimants seeking injunctive relief will be able to identify by name the individuals likely to interfere with their rights. However, claimants increasingly anticipate that they will be harassed, their property damaged or confidential information revealed by persons difficult or impossible to identify. In M Michaels (Furriers) Ltd v. Askew the claimant's commercial premises were under sustained attack from animal rights activists. The claimant “had difficulty in identifying all those responsible for these damaging actions” and addressed this difficulty by bringing a representative action against, among others, the national organiser and local contact of Animal Aid as the representatives of all members of that organisation. The Court of Appeal upheld the interim injunction granted against these representative defendants restraining them, and therefore all members of Animal Aid, from, inter alia, damaging, injuring or trespassing on the claimant's premises. In Hampshire Waste Services Ltd v. Persons Intending to Trespass and/or Trespassing Upon Incinerator Sites the four owners of a number of incinerator sites faced a similar problem. Incinerators had been targeted for protest, sometimes on a predetermined and advertised day described as a “Global Day of Action Against Incinerators”. Evidence suggested that such a protest was planned but the claimants were “unable to name any of the protesters who might be involved” and their claim was brought against “Persons intending to trespass and/or trespassing upon incinerator sites” at six locations. Morritt V.C. made an order binding “persons entering or remaining without the consent of the claimants ... on any of the incinerator sites ... in connection with the ‘Global Day of Action Against Incinerators’ (or similarly described event) on or around 14 July 2003”.